House slippers have historically (and reliably) come from brands in the cozy-but-practical footwear realm: L.L.Bean and UGG, Minnetonka and Birkenstock. Lately, however, comfy-looking house shoes have been showing up elsewhere. Parachute, Naadam, and Rothy’s, which are better known for selling, respectively, linens, cashmere, and workwear flats, each have a slipper. Meanwhile, slipper-specific start-ups have started peddling colorful ones on Instagram.
To determine the best of these newcomers, five Strategist writers wore a pair (or two) around the house on the first few chilly days of the season. After wearing each set for at least a few hours, notes were taken on warmth (did feet get sweaty? Are some slippers better with a sock?) and structure and support (do these feel more like a bootie? Could you walk the dog in these house shoes?). Then everyone compared notes to determine the best slippers for a range of scenarios and preferences. Read their reviews below, and find all our other gift ideas here.
Best for après-bath
For a few seasons now, Parachute has made slippers to round out its collection of bath linens, which include bathrobes and towels (both longtime Strategist favorites). The Classic Turkish Cotton Slippers are the brand’s mainstay. They’re 100 percent cotton terry cloth, the same material as the brand’s bathrobes, making them “rather absorbent, like putting your feet on a nice, fluffy bath mat and then walking around with that sensation,” says writer Katherine Gillespie. “It’s pleasant!” These aren’t the warmest slippers, she says, but all in all, “it’s nice to own this sort of slipper because it makes you feel like your house is a spa.” A word on sizing: Parachute’s extremely simple design is unisex and runs a little large; Gillespie wears a woman’s 7 and says an extra small would have been best.
Best for stepping out to get the mail
“I’d usually switch from house slippers to my Crocs for quick trips down to my apartment building’s lobby, but these seem sturdy enough for outside wear,” says writer Erin Schwartz of the thick EVA sole on L’Essentiel slippers from the New York–based start-up Brunch, which is run by two brothers. The brand launched two years ago and sells its hotel-inspired shoes in terry cloth and corduroy. Writer Kitty Guo agrees with Schwartz: “I wouldn’t hesitate to run out to grab the mail or even walk the dog in these.” Besides the durable sole, both writers call Brunch’s slippers warm but not stuffy and supportive but not orthopedic.
Best for something socklike
Naadam’s line of sustainable cashmere extends to footwear, specifically these Lemaire-like house slippers. “I found these to be the coziest of the bunch,” says Guo, who tested two other pairs but thought the cashmere-wool blend on Nadaam’s made them particularly toasty. Guo notes that the slim silhouette on these provided the least support, likely because of the absence of a “lip” around the heel, and that she wouldn’t wear them outside, as she might with Brunch’s L’Essentiel slippers. “These are soft and pliable and bend with your foot, almost like a ballet slipper,” Guo says, “and my heels would slide around as I walked.”
Best for something moccasinlike
“On some days, when I’ve really worked my foot muscles (climbing or surfing), a too-plush cushioned slipper means my feet have to work a bit harder to flex and walk around even when it’s time to relax,” says writer Jeremy Rellosa. “So I like how the merino slippers had just the right amount of firmness to the soles.” Rothy’s slippers are lined with merino wool (though Rellosa still recommends pairing these with a sock when it’s really cold) and are made from the brand’s signature repurposed-plastic-bottle thread.
Best for a smoking slipper
The newest of the newcomers, Lenys velour slippers come in four jewel-toned colors and are almost more of a loafer than a typical house slipper. According to its website, these house shoes are made in Italy “for the relaxed lounger” to “make your feet feel fancy.” “They feel very fancy on my feet,” confirms writer Tembe Denton-Hurst, “and have an almost slimming effect.” While Lenys is a particularly attractive house shoe that’s ideal to wear while hosting at home, Denton-Hurst noticed that these slippers — which have a half-leather, half-velvet insole — aren’t as immediately cozy as some others on this list. “It takes at least 30 minutes or so before I’m aware that my feet feel warm.”
Best for sweaty feet
Lusso launched in 2021 after its founders saw a photo of Justin Bieber wearing slippers from the Four Seasons in Soho; they decided to make a stylish house shoe that’s durable enough to wear to the dog park or out for coffee. Guo tested the sporty-looking Pelli and found it to be “a bit less warm than the Brunch and Naadam slippers, I suspect because of the material.” The upper is made from waffle-knit recycled bamboo stretched over perforated memory foam, promoting air circulation and making them ideal for people with sweaty feet but less so for those whose toes get cold. “The comfort of these slippers, however, was unmatched,” Guo says. For its footbed, Lusso uses something called “Triple Stack Technology,” consisting of three layers of foam. “It really did feel like walking on a cloud,” Guo says. “Or, less fancifully, a firm mattress.”
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